The ‘Housing to 2040’ report indicates that if the SNP win the forthcoming Holyrood elections, the party will introduce new legislation in the next parliament to introduce new standards for housing to be phased in from 2024/5.
Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Everyone living in Scotland is entitled to a warm, comfortable and safe place to live.
"That’s why we will develop a new Housing Standard which will be aligned to standards for energy efficiency and heating, meeting expectations for housing as a human right and delivering homes that underpin health and wellbeing.
"This will cover all homes, new and existing, with no margins of tolerance for sub-standard accommodation. Importantly we will also enshrine the Standard in law.”
The Scottish Government’s report outlines plans to ensure that new and existing homes will be will be warm and more affordable to heat, as well as more energy efficient and sustainable with zero direct emissions from heating.
Further to this, the report places an emphasis on increasing the delivery of affordable homes throughout Scotland - with 100,000 set to be built by 2031/2 of which 70% will be reserved for social rent. The Scottish Government have claimed that this ambitious plan would see support roughly £16 billion in total investment and additionally up to 14,000 jobs a year.
It also outlines plans to establish a Scottish Accessible Homes Standard, ensuring that all homes are accessible to disabled dwellers and can be easily adapted to fit any further or varying needs.
The ‘Housing to 2040’ report also sets out the goal of ensuring that all social homes are properly digitally-enabled by phasing in this as a requirement for all new social rented homes will have improved digital connections from 2021/22.
In addition to this, social homes are to be increasingly centred around access to public transport links, green spaces and access to public footpaths and cycle paths as a result of plans to repurpose existing buildings and develop housing on vacant or derelict land.
Ms Campbell added: “The Scottish Government will work with local authorities, registered social landlords, private landlords and communities to drive improvements to the quality of all homes so that everyone is living in good quality accommodation, regardless of whether they own it or rent it from a private or social landlord.
“Our existing homes need to keep pace with new homes to ensure no one is left behind.”
Alison Watson, the Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This is a plan to manage the growing housing emergency rather than end it. Detailed academic research shows that only by building a minimum of 37,100 social homes over the next five years could turn the tide and start to reduce the number of people stuck waiting for an affordable home. By coming so close but, ultimately, falling short on this crucial point, the Scottish Government risks setting its otherwise bold and radical plan, up to fail.”
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